Muslim Group Reports Jump in Workplace Bias Complaints in 2007

Posted on September 24, 2008

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Reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes and violence decrease in 2007

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/24/2008) – A report released today by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group shows an increase in American Muslim complaints of workplace bias in 2007.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) report, called “Without Fear of Discrimination,” outlines 2,652 incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in 2007. That is the highest number of civil rights cases ever recorded in the Washington-based group’s report – the only annual study of its kind. (Note: The higher number of cases is due in part to inclusion of a new category of cases related to mailed, faxed and e-mailed hate messages. Without the inclusion of those cases, the total number of cases dipped slightly over the previous year.)

According to the study, discrimination in the workplace against those already employed increased by 18 percent, with 384 cases reported in 2006 and 452 cases reported in 2007. There was also a 34 percent increase in reports of discrimination against those seeking employment. Cases involving denial of religious accommodation in the workplace jumped eight percent.

Since its founding in 1994, one of the main categories of CAIR’s work has been employment discrimination and religious accommodation issues in the workplace. One of the most recent cases CAIR is dealing with involves religious accommodation for Muslim workers at JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Colorado and Nebraska. Another recent case involved allegations of a new “English-only” policy for Somali Muslim workers at a Macy’s department store in Minnesota.

Reports of passenger profiling also jumped from 32 in 2006 to 141 in 2007, a 340 percent increase.

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